Unlike Latin, which I arguably don’t know, but am going to say this anyway, Yiddish has style.
To me, the style comes not just from the incredibly humorous sounding words, but from the literal way our great-great-grandparents, great-grandparents, and grandparents sounded when they said the words. I’m referring to their voices and the style of speaking that they brought with them from the Old World.
They spoke Yiddish, and then English, with a special tone, that most of us can “do” if we really try. About a decade after they landed, linguists began paying attention. “People start noticing, huh, they speak English kinda funny,” says Rachel Steindel Burdin, a linguist at the University of New Hampshire who studies Jewish English.
In honor of all our family who spoke Yiddish, we bring you your Yiddish Word(s) Of The Week.